Can I be sued for damage my son caused to an apartment complex? Will I lose my son for an accidental fire he started?

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Can I be sued for damage my son caused to an apartment complex? Will I lose my son for an accidental fire he started?

My 14 year old son started a fire in my apartment complex and damaged a LOT of property. News reports say the damage is estimated at 1.5 mil. He’s never started fires before that I know of. Inspector is calling again wanting to meet and won’t give me details.

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This is a very serious situation and i recommend that you hire a lawyer to help here if you can afford it.  You son is exposed to time in juvinile detention and you are exposed to civil lawsuits for your failure to supervise.  Whether these are viable claims, people may sue you.  Do you have renter's insurance?  Do you have any sort of liability policy?  If you do, you may want to place them on notice.  I am not sure whether the insurance company will pay such claims, but its worth a try.  Your son's actions here could has adverse affects of him getting into school and getting a job in the future.  It is very important that this matter is resolved so that his life is not handicapped forever.  Contact a lawyer immediately and do not let the police question your son without you present.


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